First case of person-to-person transmission of Wuhan virus in the US confirmed

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The husband of an Illinois woman with Wuhan coronavirus is now infected with the illness, and is the first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission of...

Posted: Jan 30, 2020 10:30 AM
Updated: Jan 30, 2020 1:15 PM

The husband of an Illinois woman with Wuhan coronavirus is now infected with the illness, and is the first confirmed case of person-to-person transmission of the virus in the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Thursday.

'I want to emphasize that the risk of this novel coronavirus to the general public in Illinois remains low,' Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said in a written statement on Thursday. She added that local, state and federal health officials are working to identify people who have had close contact with the case in order to minimize further spread of the virus.

'We will continue to keep the public fully informed as additional information becomes available,' she said.

The husband, a Chicago resident in his 60s, is the second confirmed case of the virus in the state.

The woman, who is in her 60s, is the first confirmed travel-associated case in Illinois and was diagnosed after returning from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak originated. She is 'doing quite well' and remains hospitalized primarily for isolation, doctors told reporters during a telebriefing with reporters on Thursday.

The husband, who did not travel to China, was admitted more recently to the hospital and has some underlying medical conditions, but is stable.

'Given what we've seen in China versus other countries, CDC experts have expected to find some person-to-person spread in the United States,' CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said during Thursday's telebriefing.

'Based on what we know now, our assessment remains that the immediate risk to the American public is low.'

The Illinois Department of Public Health said the husband was in close contact with his spouse over a long period of time while she was symptomatic. Symptoms can include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

'We know coronaviruses are most likely to spread through close personal contact, and we know this second patient had close contact with his wife after she began to develop symptoms, so it's not totally unexpected that he acquired the virus,' Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said in the written statement on Thursday.

'This is exactly why public health has been monitoring him closely, and why we monitor any close contacts of confirmed cases,' she said. 'This does not change our guidance that the risk to the general public remains low at this time. People in the community do not need to change their behavior based on this news; for example, they don't need to cancel events, avoid mass gatherings, or wear gloves and masks in public.'

Public health officials are investigating locations the second patient visited over the past two weeks and any people he may have had close contact with, state officials said.

Public health and medical professionals are taking an aggressive approach in identifying and actively monitoring people who were in contact with both the second patient and his wife in an effort to reduce the risk of additional transmission. A CDC team also remains in Illinois to support those efforts, according to the state.

In the United States so far, with this latest case, there are a total of six confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the CDC. One case is in Arizona, one in Washington state, two in California and two in Illinois. The CDC said Wednesday that 165 people in the United States have been under investigation for the virus. Sixty-eight had tested negative and 92 results were pending.

In mainland China, at least 170 people have died and more than 8,100 cases have been confirmed as the virus continues to spread.

'If you are a traveler who has recently returned from the impacted area, we want you to be vigilant with the symptoms and signs of this coronavirus,' Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during the teleconference.

'Wash your hands, cover your cough,' Messonnier said. 'For the rest of the American public right now, we understand that folks are concerned.'

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 3927

Reported Deaths: 148
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah104058
Marion90525
Washington69017
Clackamas29010
Deschutes1190
Linn1169
Umatilla1113
Polk9610
Lane672
Yamhill657
Jackson570
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Coos310
Malheur280
Josephine251
Jefferson250
Douglas250
Wasco181
Columbia160
Hood River120
Morrow120
Lincoln90
Tillamook60
Curry60
Union60
Crook50
Wallowa20
Sherman10
Grant10
Harney10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 94020

Reported Deaths: 3754
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles450172106
San Diego6559249
Riverside6464290
Orange5336131
San Bernardino4365176
Alameda284793
Santa Clara2617139
San Francisco236740
San Mateo183376
Kern182429
Tulare164175
Santa Barbara155112
Fresno144822
Contra Costa132136
Sacramento129356
Imperial114523
Ventura91230
San Joaquin75233
Stanislaus62928
Kings5172
Sonoma4824
Solano45520
Monterey3958
Marin38814
San Luis Obispo2581
Merced2516
Santa Cruz1922
Yolo19022
Placer1849
Napa1013
Humboldt932
Madera842
El Dorado740
San Benito702
Nevada411
Sutter402
Shasta364
Butte340
Mono341
Yuba281
Del Norte230
Mendocino210
Inyo191
Mariposa151
Calaveras130
Lake120
Glenn120
Amador100
Siskiyou61
Colusa50
Plumas40
Tuolumne30
Tehama31
Alpine20
Lassen20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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